Headteacher's Weekly Bulletin
Friday 23rd September 2016
Mrs Tasker, my indomitable PA, has been inundated with calls and emails of concern following last week’s bulletin and my declaration that I would be running back to Warrington on Friday evening. I jest, of course, as no interest whatsoever was shown from any quarter. Evidently I did make it home ok (10 of the 12 miles actually but still, I suspect, the furthest I’ve ever run!) but had to phone Mrs Beeley to pick me up as my ageing and aching joints wouldn’t carry me any further.
Anyway, enough of my woes …
Inevitably, there’s lots to report from Week 3 at Wellington School.
As you will read later, the sports’ season here at School has ‘kicked off’ in earnest this week and a positive start it’s been too. Preparations continue at a pace for the Awards Evening next Tuesday (see the Music report), the Year 7s have been ‘bonding’ and Mrs Copeland, with two of our students, has been in Croatia this week representing the School at a European conference on peer support and anti-bullying (more on that to follow next week). Just a hint of the wide variety of events and activities each week which serve to make Wellington such a rich learning environment. So let’s have a look in greater detail at what’s been on the menu this week.
This report from Mrs Kearney: “On Tuesday, Miss O’Malley and Miss Berry (our new wonderful Art Technician) and I accompanied 52 Year 10 pupils to Chester Zoo. At school, pupils have made a promising start to their GCSE coursework entitled, ‘Feather, Fur, Fin’, however, as part of their coursework they need to gather their own evidence by taking their own Photographs. We are lucky to have Chester Zoo so close. Pupils gathered a range of photographs from many of the animals at the zoo before spending the afternoon drawing in their sketchpads.
It was a productive day for our pupils and we hope the photographs they gathered will help develop ideas for their current project. Well done Year 10 and well done Miss O’Malley for overcoming her fear of the Butterfly House.”
Yes, those pesky butterflies are downright petrifying; it must have been hell for you!
Miss Collinge, 2nd in Department, says ‘well done’ to the following pupils who have all received English Praise Postcards this month. Each English teacher has picked two pupils who have impressed with their excellent approach to lessons so far:
Aisha Shad, Jessica Stamper, Jordan Ruchat, Niamh Fitzsimons, Sinead Leech, Lily Smith, Sophie Jackson, Lois Hinds, Braden Ogden-Leigh, Mia Liddell, Sinead McColl, Rachel Farthing, Tallulah Flynn, Abi Cox, Callum Chesters, Freya Lees, Jana Jackson, Rosa O’Connor, Rea Thaqi, Eesa Hussain, Ayesha Khan, Kai Marrin, Leah Shaw and Arron Richardson.
These pupils cover a range of year groups but whilst we’re on the subject of achievement in English; you won’t have seen the English department’s GCSE results but they continue the trend of outstanding performance for both Language and Literature, so a big public thank you and well done to Miss Hitchens, Mrs Collinge and the team, and it certainly looks like the tradition of excellence is set to continue.
More English news from Miss Spencer: “I’m delighted with the start 10-2 have made to their writing unit. There are clearly some hard-working, ambitious and articulate pupils within the class! Their tenacious spirit came to the fore when wrestling with a writing task which asked them to argue whether children could (and should) be labelled as ‘good’ and ‘bad’. This was a ‘deep’ question which may have fazed some, but not 10-2! I was intrigued by their lines of enquiry and their passion! I have also been impressed by their desire to implement – what I consider to be – spectacular lexical choices within their pieces. Let’s hope they keep it up!
My ENGLISH SUPERSTAR of the week comes from 10-2. Lily Smith is the embodiment of conscientiousness and she deserves recognition for her exemplary attitude.”
Just one example of the very positive start Year 10 have made to their GCSE campaign. This was reflected last night by a great turn-out by Year 10 parents at GCSE prep evening. Quite rightly, Miss Tidbury and Mr Manifould are proud of the progress to date of those ‘under their wing’ and I’m sure with perseverance they’ll go from strength to strength over the next two years. Best of luck going forward to our Year 10 students – be organised and stay resilient.
This week saw the first session of KS3 cooking club after Mrs Ryan received a kind donation of apples from keen gardeners Mrs Mildenstein and Mrs Coburn. Fourteen pupils signed up to make tasty apple crumbles which was a great achievement in the forty minute time slot. Pupils not only made the crumble topping but also peeled and stewed their own apples.
It was a fantastic way to launch this year’s cooking club using fresh local produce. All the pupils had a great time and Callum Macdonald of Year 8 informed Mrs Ryan that his crumble “was extremely delicious”.
My favourite dessert and nobody mentioned this?! Please don’t tell me there was fresh custard involved too? Mrs Ryan, can I please see your schemes of work so I can ‘visit’ DT at the appropriate time?
This from Miss Weeks: “To celebrate European Day of Languages, on Friday 23rd September, 40 pupils from Years 7-12 volunteered to teach students from Years 7 and 8 a new foreign language. This wasn’t the typical French, German or Spanish that pupils learn in usual MFL lessons at Wellington, but instead, there was a variety of exciting languages to catch a glimpse of such as Xhosa, Albanian and Polish to name just a few. During the carousel of languages, there was also a range of different activities. For example, you could learn how to play Chinese chess or write your name in Japanese. There were a staggering 18 different languages being taught! Not only this, but some linguists also brought in items of traditional dress, typical foods, cultural pictures and trinkets with them too. This was a fantastic way to see how other cultures live and gave the pupils a better understanding of other languages that they could be learning.
Perhaps one of the most popular activities from the EDoL event was the International Café. Mrs Williams, (with the help of the newly appointed Year 10 Language Leaders) set up a beautiful arrangement of different snacks from all over the world for pupils to try.
In addition to this event, all pupils from Years 7-13 did a language related quiz during tutor time. Other activities included a celebrity linguist badge quiz for Year 7s, a lunchtime Salsa lesson from Mrs Whitham, international music quiz delivered by Mrs Allen and Mrs Stevens and Mr Mani’s football quiz, which was very popular with the Year 11 boys.”
And here are a few more EDoL snippets from other MFL teachers: “Today, as part of the European Day of Languages celebration, Mrs Whitham conducted a Latin salsa class for the first time, starring Harvey Baskerville and Brandon Lane from Year 10. A right pair of smooth movers, by all accounts.”
“Also, in the spirit of European Day of Languages in Room 1 we held a European Football quiz (by the way, Monsieur Beeley, do you remember what a gardien de but is?) and the winners were the team of Year 11s: Morgan Nelson (a red, unfortunately), Jaden Wright (who doesn’t like football!), Jack Povah and Dan Jones (both blues).” Thank you Mr Mani and yes I do know what it means!
From Mrs Allen: “Ella Spencer 8MES, Mia Liddell 8ESD and Olivia Percival 8SYG demonstrated an excellent ear for music in the ‘Name that Song’ event at lunchtime and 11JEH were the winning tutor group in the Year 11 European Day of Languages quiz.”
What a busy day in languages but one that will have been a memorable experience for those who took part. Thanks to all those delivered today.
Mrs Heaton reports on the Mathematics department ‘Stars of the Week’; the awards go to …
Faye Alty from Year 7 - Mrs Golden comments she is very proud of Faye and how she has shown perseverance to master her work in Mathematics. Faye is showing increased confidence in the subject and is also keen to learn and share her ideas. Well done Faye and keep up the good work!
Mrs MacKay would like to nominate Abehr Kutraj from Year 11. Abehr has continued to work really hard in the first three weeks of this year, showing commitment, determination to succeed and always a great attention to detail. She is making excellent progress and I have high hopes for her in the future. Well done Abehr!
Mr Fellowes awards Callum Byrne from Year 9. He comments that Callum is pushing himself on every bit of work given to him in class and making sure he is getting onto the hardest questions to challenge himself each lesson. Well done Callum.
Mrs Heaton wishes to congratulate her nomination, Imogen Taylor, also from Year 9. Imogen has been fully committed to learning new and challenging areas of Mathematics this week. She has been seeking support just at the right times to develop her understanding further. She is very proud of the work ethic and maturity Imogen has since the start of the year. Well done Imogen!
Miss Latham’s nomination is to Patrick Shawcross from Year 8. Patrick has shown the flair of a true Mathematician when working on the Fibonnacci sequence, by continuing the sequence for a good 20 minutes working out in his head the number that would come next. His scribbles and notes could have been mistaken for Leonardo Pisano’s original workings! He was so engrossed that if the bell hadn’t gone for lunch I’m sure he would still be here. Patrick was inspired by this TED talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjSHVDfXHQ4 which is worth a watch if you want to see a guy very excited about mathematical patterns!
Many congratulations to all our stars this week.”
Mrs Moorhouse writes; “The Music Department have been busy rehearsing for the Awards Evening at the Bridgewater Hall. We have 7 performances throughout the evening and the ensembles involved have been working hard during these first few weeks to maintain the high standards that they have previously set themselves.
I am not very easily impressed but the Year 7s have managed to impress me already through their hard work during the week. Year 7 Parents – it would be incredibly helpful if you double-checked with your child that they know all the lyrics ready for Tuesday evening to ensure that both performances are as fantastic as I know they could be. I have no doubt that they will make you very proud.
We are also keeping busy with our rehearsals for ‘What’s in a Musical?’, our musical extravaganza which takes place on Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th October in the Watson Hall. We have students from all year groups participating in this and rehearsals have been happening thick and fast. Details of these rehearsals can be found on the Music Bulletin which is published weekly as well as on the rehearsal schedule and script that all cast members have received. Tickets will be on sale shortly, make sure you don’t miss out.”
It is a hectic time for the music department (they never go for the easy option) but I have no doubt that Mrs Moorhouse and Mr Edmonds and all the performers will do us proud over the next few weeks.
Mr Gerschler, newly appointed Year 7 team manager, reports on the season’s opener; “Year 7 had their first football fixture of the year on Tuesday evening against Sale Grammar. The first 5 minutes of the match was disrupted by one of the strangest injuries ever seen on a football pitch…left back George McCarthy being stung by a wasp on the ankle! Sale quickly took advantage and were two goals up by halftime. Wellington turned it around in the second half, thanks to superb performances from Charlie Walsh (our first goal scorer), Martin Griffin, Dillon Key and George McCarthy (returning despite the swollen ankle) but eventually lost 3-1. A promising start to the season against challenging opponents! We will train hard over the next fortnight and hopefully get our first win in our next game against North Cestrian on 5th October.”
Mr Scott’s Year 8s next; “The Year 8 football team started the new season with a hard fought 2-2 draw at home to Sale Grammar. It was an enthralling encounter with both teams dominating different periods of the game. Wellington could have got an early goal but lacked the quality in the final third on a couple of occasions, however, we went ahead just before half time through Josh Wilson after some excellent work down the left wing by Will Feldman. In the second half, Wellington came out strongly but found themselves behind after two quick goals from Sale Grammar and an outstanding save from Max Morgan with his feet ensured that the hosts were still in the game. Wellington had a strong last 10 minutes and made the pressure pay when a dramatic equaliser from a free kick was bundled in by Josh Grundy after his initial header came back off the bar. Cameron Davenport was outstanding in his first game for Wellington at the heart of the defence and thoroughly deserved the man of the match award for being a rock at the back.”
On to Rugby news and reports from this week’s fixtures against Ashton on Mersey. Firstly, from Mr Higginson;
The Year 10s faced AoM in their opening fixture of the year. Playing against a much larger (Year 11!) and physical AoM team, the boys played some fantastic rugby showing their skills and speed. Even when loosing 2 players to injury the boys continued to play an expansive game and were unlucky to lose the game 20 – 12.
The Year 9s started their season with a strong win away to AoM. All players played extremely well showing fantastic skill to score some great team tries. Wellington moved the ball with pace throughout the game which AoM struggled to contain. Defensively the boys were well organised and strong limiting AoM to 3 tries. Standout performances from Toby Allan scoring 5 tries, Pat Waters, Alex Dearden and Dylan Jones. The final score was 45 – 10 to Wellington.
The Years 8s travelled away to AoM to start the season. A strong first half from Wellington saw the team take a convincing lead into halftime with all players combining to set up some fantastic team tries. Things looked set to continue in the second half until AoM kicked into gear to score 3 unanswered tries and finish the game the stronger. A convincing win in the end for Wellington but plenty to work on. The final score was 45 – 18 to Wellington.
To round off a great first week of the rugby season, Year 7 enjoyed a 30-25 win also away at Ashton. The boys have really impressed me with their attitude and attendance at training over the first two weeks but it was always going to be a ‘big ask’ with so little preparation. Ashton were, of course, in a similar position with a number of boys new to the game. We started off well with some excellent rucking, tackling and passing to expose the Ashton defence and raced to a 10 nil lead (tries from flying winger Ben Lewis and playmaker and skipper on this occasion Ollie Jones). Ashton pulled a try back towards the end of the first of three sessions and then raced to a 20-10 lead in a disappointing second session. After some tactical input and rousing words of motivation, fear ye not, the boys rallied to score a further 4 tries in the final third (Josh Wilson, Joe Hughes, James Burney and a second from Ben Lewis). The victory was gratifying but the main purpose at this stage is to identify strengths and areas for development and there were plenty of both inevitably. All 22 boys acquitted themselves well but I was particularly impressed with the likes of Alfie Jenkins (who lost a tooth in the cause) and Joe Hughes, both newcomers to rugby. It’s going to be a very enjoyable year working with this bunch.
Our first bit of news form beyond Wellington from Mr Manifould, Pastoral Manager of Year 10: “Ellie Jeffs from Year 10 is competing in the British water-skiing championships this weekend and Oli Tero is representing Great Britain at Judo in Poland. Good luck to both.”
I mentioned the 6th Form residential last week and here’s the report I promised from Mr Cropper, Head of 6th Form:
“The Sixth Form returned last Friday from a successful 2 day residential at Keele University in Staffordshire. The residential serves many purposes, which includes students reflecting on their results, target setting for the year, finding out more about University life and coming together as a sixth form to provide a sense of community. Our students were outstanding over the two days and it bodes very well for Sixth Form this year. Keele is a campus university and feedback from students was very positive indeed.
A big thanks to the Sixth Form Team of tutors, along with Miss Grey and a special thanks to Mrs Wilson who put in hours beyond the call of duty to ensure the paperwork and residential ran smoothly.”
Mrs Haley reports that the first 3 weeks have been very busy for the new Year 7s. Not only did they have to contend with a new school, new teachers and a new complicated timetable, they also had to face some of their fears at their Bonding Day this week at Challenge for Change in Trafford Park. Bonding Day is Wellington School’s annual trip to allow Year 7s to make new friends out of the classroom and feel more settled at ‘big school’. They used fun physical and mental activities which encouraged team building skills which in turn inspired their confidence to face a new start at Wellington School. And despite some scared faces from the pupils (and teachers!) when scaling the heights of the aerial course, a fun day was had by all!
This from Director of Year, Miss Tidbury; “Firstly can I add my thanks again to all the parents who attended GCSE preparation evening last night; as always the support of our parents is highly valued.
With regards to support, Year 10 (along with 50 or so Year 11s) were involved in an off-timetable event with a company called ‘Live N Learn’. The company specialises in positive thinking, engagement, organisation and many other strategies to help prepare students for the challenges of GCSEs, and Miss Tidbury thought it was a productive and positive way to start the term for Year 10.
Students were very positive about the sessions and the range of activities and the messages that Ian presented. Ian was not only a popular presenter with the students because of his comedic timing and jokes, but also with Miss Tidbury, as he happened to be another Derby County supporter!”
So there is more than one of you then?
I hope you’ve enjoyed catching up on the last few days at Wellington but here are a few things for the diary:
I’ve mentioned Awards Evening on Tuesday and I look forward to seeing many of you there but don’t forget School is closed to students on Wednesday. For Year 7 students and their families, it’s the Family Fun Night on the 6th October (excellent initial response but we'd love more of our Year 7 families to join us - please return the reply slip to Mrs Tasker as soon as possible) and for our Year 11s and their parents, 6th Form Open Evening is on 13th October.
Thankfully, I’m not running home tonight but I am on the bike and later than intended, so thank you for taking the time to read the bulletin and have a great weekend,
S P Beeley
Welcome to Wellington School
Thank you for taking the time to view our website. I would like to begin by saying what an absolute honour it is to be the Headteacher of such an outstanding school. I relish the challenge of maintaining the exceptional standards established over many years and, indeed, moving Wellington forward in the future.
Wellington School is an 11 – 18 Academy with Humanities Specialism. Our motto is ‘Excellence in Everything’ and that is our aim in everything we do. To achieve this, high standards are expected of all our students and staff. All of our work is anchored in the values of mutual respect, responsibility, discipline, care for the individual and high achievement.
We are proud of our school and the achievements of our students, and our success is reflected in our popularity. High levels of student attendance and above average academic achievement – compared to schools both locally and nationally – are a clear sign of the value students and parents place on the experience of being part of Wellington School community.
We hope you enjoy our website and find it both informative and useful.
Stuart Beeley, Headteacher